Cacao Nib Waffles [Guest Post: Wholly Me]

Sometimes I think that I should be a private eye. Or maybe a professional Googler. Is that a thing? Is it possible to be good at something like that? I'm the resident Googler at work because I have an insane ability to find things online. Also, because I like doing it. I can happily spend hours intensely searching the internet. That may mean I have a problem. Is it better if I say that I'm putting my gift to good use and just helping others find what they are looking for? Maybe...

One day during an intense Google search to find Paleo-friendly items, I found these cute little snack bags called Wholly Bites. I reached out to the company and got in touch with their CEO, Lisa. She was sweet enough to send me off a few samples of their product.

 I received the shipment shortly after, which included the flavors "Cacao Nib," "Apricot Pecan" and "Sweet Curry." Each of these had such a unique, delightful taste. None of them were overly sweet and the Curry Clusters had a cool, unexpected spice to them. Apricot Pecan was my favorite of the 3. They also have a Ginger Snap flavor on their website that I'm dying to try! If anyone happens to pick some up, let me know your thoughts! The clusters come in larger sizes or are available in 1.5 oz. bags, which I had. They really were the perfect size. I can definitely see myself keeping a pack (or two) in my bag for on the go, smart snacking.

As if that wasn't enough, not only did Lisa graciously share a sample of their product, but she said she would be happy to share a contributing recipe with me!  Lisa is a 5 time cookbook author, founder of "Inspired Eating Nutrition Consulting" and creator of The Healthy Gourmet iPhone App. She has been a featured contributor for Whole Foods Market, The Huffington Post and now... Personally Paleo! 

Today's post is my first guest feature and boy, is it a good one. Lisa really did it big for you guys. I'm drooling over this picture. Trust me, you will be too. "So, let me get this right, you want me to eat chocolate waffles AND you want me to top it with some homemade ice cream?!" Sure, no problem. You could probably tell me I needed to walk backwards while doing a handstand and I would agree to it if you fed me these.

So now, without further adieu...

Chocolate Waffles:
Servings: 4

¾ cup cocoa powder
½ cup coconut milk
½ cup + 2tbs coconut sugar
½ cup almond meal
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
4 eggs
⅓ to ½ cup almond milk
2 tbs ghee, butter or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Strawberries & Chocolate Sauce
Dairy-Free Cacao Nib Ice Cream Ingredients:
Servings: 1 pint

1 14oz can coconut milk
1 cup almond milk
⅓ cup coconut sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup cacao nibs
Chocolate Waffle Steps:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the cocoa powder, coconut milk and 1/2 cup of the coconut sugar. Heat to medium, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Lightly oil and preheat waffle maker.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together remaining cocoa powder, almond flour, baking soda, salt and remaining coconut sugar. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, oil and vanilla until well mixed and foamy. Stir into dry mixture and mix well.
  4. Pour batter into waffle iron compartments and cook until lightly browned and done in the center. To serve, arrange on a platter, drizzle with chocolate

Notes: These Paleo-ized waffles are as light and crispy as the real thing! Serve them hot, with a scoop of dairy-free Vanilla-Cacao Nib ice cream; or let them cool, sandwich them around ice cream and re-freeze for anytime ice cream sandwiches. Swap out the chocolate syrup for a light drizzle of honey, and they’re great for breakfast too! 

Ice Cream Steps:
  1. Combine coconut milk, almond milk, coconut sugar and vanilla extract in a blender and puree till smooth. Transfer to an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions.
  2. About 5 minutes before ice cream has finished processing, add cacao nibs, and continue freezing.
  3. Serve once ice cream is completely done processing.

Notes: Combining almond and coconut milk makes this creamy treat appropriately rich, but cuts down on the overwhelming coconut-y flavor. We like the Native Forest brand; the can linings are free of BPA. Coconut sugar improves the texture of ice cream during freezing, but honey is a perfectly good substitute.  Or swap 6 pitted medjool dates for the coconut sugar, for added fiber and minerals.